Brendan Gaughan


Brendan Gaughan

Infobox_NASCAR_driver
Name = Brendan Gaughan


Birthdate = birth date and age|1975|7|10
Birthplace = Los Angeles, California
Best_Cup_Pos = 28th (2004)
Cup_Top_Tens = 4
First_Cup_Race = 2004 Daytona 500 (Daytona)
Last_Cup_Race = 2004 Ford 400 (Homestead-Miami Speedway)
First_Busch_Race = 2001 Auto Club 300 (California)
Last_Busch_Race = 2001 Auto Club 300 (California)
Truck_Car_Team = #10 - Circle Bar Racing
First_Truck_Race = 1997 Carquest Auto Parts 420K (Las Vegas)
First_Truck_Win = 2002 O'Reilly 400K (Texas)
Last_Truck_Win = 2003 Silverado 350 (Texas)
Truck_Wins = 8
Truck_Top_Tens = 46
Truck_Poles = 3
Awards = 1995 and 1996 SODA champion

1997 and 1998 CORR champion

2000 and 2001 NASCAR Winston West champion

2002 Craftsman Truck Series Rookie of the Year
Years_In_Cup = 1
Total_Cup_Races = 36
Updated_On = July 29, 2007

Brendan Gaughan (born July 10, 1975 in Los Angeles, California) is a NASCAR racer from Las Vegas, Nevada. Gaughan is the grandson of Vegas gaming pioneer Jackie Gaughan and son of Michael Gaughan, a hotel and casino magnate.

Gaughan currently drives the #10 MaxxForce Diesel Ford F-150 for Circle Bar Racing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Previously he had driven for his family-owned team, South Point Racing (which folded in the 2007-08 offseason), and had spent one season in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series driving for Penske Racing.

College

Gaughan attended Georgetown University and played collegiate basketball as a walk-on for the Hoyas with friend, former roommate, and now Denver Nuggets guard Allen Iverson. Gaughan earned All-Conference honors as a placekicker on Georgetown's NCAA Division I-AA football team where he became known as an extra point specialist, converting 39 of 40 extra point attempts during the 1994 season for the highest extra point percentage in Hoya history. He was nicknamed "Baby-Rudy" by the Hoya students because of his walk-on status on the basketball team and his close physical resemblance to Notre Dame Fighting Irish legend Daniel E. "Rudy" Ruettiger, whose story was documented in the 1993 blockbuster hit "Rudy".

When Iverson was a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, Gaughan frequently attended their games and even sported corn rows in honor of his Hoyas teammate during a race at Dover International Speedway during the 2002 Craftsman Truck Series season.

Off-Road career

Brendan won his first race in a 1991 SNORE (Southern Nevada Off-Road Enthusiasts) off-road race. He was the Class 10 SNORE champion in 1991, 1992, and 1993.

In 1995 he moved to SODA (Short-course Off-road Drivers Association) series driving a Dodge Ram from the Walker Evans team. He was the 1995 Class 13 champion, he raced in Class 8 in 1996 and 1997 [http://www.off-road.com/race/97sodacrandon.html 1997 SODA Crandon results] ] , but did not win either championship (as Scott Taylor won both championships). He moved with most SODA drivers to CORR at the end of 1997 and raced in the Pro-2 category through 1998 where he finished 3rd behind champion Rick Johnson and Scott Taylor.

His biggest wins came at Crandon International Off-Road Raceway. His multiple wins there solidified his reputation as one of the premier off-road racers at the time with his most memorable battle coming between himself and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion Jimmie Johnson in 1996. The two dueled throughout the race with Johnson having to come from behind after being spun out by Scott Taylor. However, Johnson's truck succumbed to crash damage from a previous incident with Jimmie Crowder, and Gaughan took his first win at Crandon in a pro category. This battle was a precursor to the battles they would have later on in NASCAR when Brendan raced in Cup in 2004. He followed the win with a repeat performance the next year at Crandon, this time piloting a Chevrolet.

NASCAR career

Nascar Craftsman Truck Series

Gaughan then decided to move to stock car racing. He was the 2000 and 2001 champion on the AutoZone West series. He raced in a few Craftsman Truck Series (CTS) events.

In 2002 the team raced full-time, winning twice, on his way to the Rookie of the Year title.

2003

2003 was Gaughan's breakout year. Driving the #62 Orleans Dodge for his father Michael, he picked up where he left off in '02, scoring six wins, the two most notable of which were at Texas Motor Speedway which gave him four straight wins at the track.

Despite his dominance, Gaughan could not hold off three other drivers, who had closed up on his championship lead going into the final race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Gaughan started the race as the points leader, with Ted Musgrave (#1 Ultra Motorsports Mopar Dodge) in second, Travis Kvapil (#16 IWX Motor Freight Chevrolet) in third, and Dennis Setzer (#46 Acxiom Chevrolet) in fourth. All Gaughan needed to do was finish ahead of all three drivers to win the championship.

Fate, however, would not deal him a fair hand. On lap 101, Gaughan got into an accident involving Bryan Reffner and Musgrave's teammate Marty Houston, and could not continue. He would finish 29th in a 36 car field and fell from first to fourth in the points. (Musgrave, Setzer, and Kvapil were left to battle for the title, with Musgrave and Kvapil fighting each other for position up until the last restart. During said restart, Musgrave tried to pass before the restart, was black flagged after a long review, and Kvapil ended up winning the championship by virtue of his 6th place finish in the race.)

2004 - Move up to Nextel Cup

In 2004, Gaughan moved up to the NEXTEL Cup. He drove the #77 Kodak Dodge for Penske Racing. He finished second in the Rookie of the Year standings, and 28th in the final points standings. He finished the season with 4 Top 10's including a career best fourth place finish at Talladega Superspeedway. However, it wasn't enough for him to keep his job, and he was replaced by Kvapil, who beat him for the 2003 CTS championship.

2005

In 2005, he moved back to the CTS, behind the wheel of the Jasper Orleans Racing #77 Dodge Ram. He finished 19th in the final points standings, with two Top 5 and 7 Top 10 finishes. Starting with the September 23 race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the team began sport a new livery of the South Point Casino in which his father, Michael, is the owner.

2007

In 2007, the South Point team switched to Chevrolet Silverados, where Gaughan returned to the manufacturer which he drove during his efforts in the AutoZone West championships. On [August 18, 2007, he married his wife Tatum, finishing second at Bristol following his wedding.

2008

For 2008, South Point Racing was to merge with Wyler Racing into Wyler-Gaughan Racing, fielding the #60 and #77 Toyotas. However, the deal fell through and SPR was forced to close, leaving Gaughan and 10-12 of his crew members without a team. Gaughan has signed to the drive #10 Ford F-150 for the 2008 CTS season.

References

* [http://racing-reference.info/driver?id=gaughbr01 Driver's page at racing-reference.info]
* [http://www.brendangaughanonline.com/ Brendan Gaughan Online]
* [http://alumni.georgetown.edu/site/PageServer?pagename=gaughan_story Georgetown alumni spotlight]
* [http://www.vegasinsider.com/auto-racing/story.cfm/story/471689/ Checker Auto Parts 500 preview, 2005]

External links

* [http://www.brendangaughan.com/ Official website]
* [http://www.southpointracing.com/ Official team website]


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